I'm willing to bet that you fit into one of these categories:
A. You've never heard of a blog.
B. You read blogs but don't necessarily know they're blogs.
C. You're an avid consumer of blog content and could quickly send me a list of your five favorites.
Fair enough. OK, for those of you who fit into category A -- the ones who are, well, in a fog about blogs -- a blog is short for a weblog. These logs are Web pages created using simple electronic-publishing tools and covering a wide variety of topics. Some include news and facts, but most are heavy on opinion and perspective, and even contain links to other resources that may support or oppose such opinion.
For some, blogs are a way to spout off about a topic they feel passionately about. For others, they offer a chance to provide an alternative to traditional media (traditional in this case isn't just print media but also online media, which follows many of the same journalistic principles of print). For still others, they're an opportunity to share knowledge and resources. In fact, it's that aspect of blogs that has captured our interest. Indeed, blogs have great potential for personal productivity in the workplace as well as idea sharing and collaboration across boundaries. You can read far more detail about blogs in this week's cover story by print editor John Foley ("Are You Blogging Yet?").
For those of you in category B, perhaps you now realize that you do occasionally or even regularly read blogs -- maybe you read the Best of the Web Today from The Wall Street Journal (www.opinionjournal.com/best)? Yep, that's a blog. Or, maybe you read blogs about particular hobbies -- movies, gardening, or even tattoos. In fact, these days you can find blog contests, blogathons -- events that raise money for charity through continuous blogging for 24 hours. There's something for everyone, it seems. In that regard, a blog isn't radically different from a Web page that lists topics of interest or other resources, but blogs tend to be updated regularly with commentary and observations, are written by an individual, and contain more links to other resources.
And for those of you in category C, we want to hear from you. What are your favorite blogs, particularly in the field of business technology? How often do you read them? Do you have your own? We've assembled a resource page with some that we think you might find of interest at informationweek.com/blog/resource.htm. What else should be there?
5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.